Rus Articles Journal

Where ancient manuscripts are stored? Matenadaran of

Matenadaran - the world`s largest storage to the dreena - the Armenian manuscripts, scientifically - research Institute of ancient manuscripts of Mesrop Mashtots, the center spiritually - cultural heritage in Yerevan. Matenadaran is created in 1920 on the basis of the nationalized collection of manuscripts of Echmiadzin - a cathedral and the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Need of creation of a book-depository arose in the 5th century at the time of Mesrop Mashtots when he created the alphabet and began to translate the Bible and other spiritual books. The storage of books was created in Vagharshapat - the capital of East Armenia where there was a cathedral Echmiadzin. Not only in Echmiadzin, but also in other places of Armenia and where many Armenians lived, manuscripts which were stored in churches and in libraries of monasteries were written and rewritten.

In many monasteries (Tatev, Gladzor, Sanain, Akhpat and others) there were schools and even universities. These monasteries had the book-depositories and skriptoriya where books were rewritten. A rich collection of manuscripts the monastery Sagmosavank (20 km from Yerevan) which was based by Vache Vachutyan in 1215 had. His son to the monastery attached a book-depository. Gradually valuable manuscripts of Sagmosavank moved to Echmiadzin, and in 1953 the last manuscripts left the monastery.

Matenadaran would be richer if numerous conquerors do not destroy the manuscript. So, according to Stepanos Orbelyan, in 1170 Turks - seldzhuk took fortress Bagaberd which had a large book-depository, and destroyed the manuscripts collected there from Tatev and district monasteries. Kirakos Gandzaketsi narrates about stealing in 1242 of numerous manuscripts from a book-depository of the city of Karin. In 1298 the Egyptian Mamelukes ruined a treasury of the capital of Cilicia of Cis`s city. In 1804 the book-depository of Echmiadzin suffered.

During 1915 - 23. not only the population of the Western Armenia, but also cultural heritage was destroyed: the set of manuscripts is lost. Manuscripts which could rescue from death gradually find the haven in Matenadarana.

In 1915 the Catholicos of all Armenians Gevork V for safety in case of war sent 4060 manuscripts to Moscow in Holy Cross Church. In 1922 manuscripts were returned in Matenadaran. The returned manuscripts by a lucky chance did not fall prey of robbers: they were carried by train which all cars were robbed in way, except for the car in which carried a collection of Echmiadzin.

Later manuscripts of the Moscow Lazarevskoye of institute, the Tbilisi school of Nersesyan, the literary museum of Yerevan, from the cities of Erzrum (Karin), New Nakhichevan, Astrakhan and from other places came to Matenadaran.

From Echmiadzin Matenadaran in 1939 moves to the building of republican library of Yerevan. In 1959 Matenadaran becomes institute with departments of storage, research, a reprint and translation of manuscripts and moves to the new building created on Mark Grigoryan`s project.

Matenadaran`s building is designed with respect for style to the dreena - the Armenian architecture. Before the building basalt sculptures of eminent persons of the Armenian culture are established: Movsesa Horenatsi, Ananias Shirakatsi, Mkhitara Gosha, Roslin`s Hummock, Freak, Grigor Tatevatsi. On the small platform steps to the building are faced by sculptural group: Mesrop Mashtots and Koryun. Since 1962 Matenadaran is called a name of Mesrop Mashtots.

Nowadays Matenadaran`s museum has 15 halls. For scientific activity in 2011 on the project of the architect Artur Meschyan the new case is constructed. It has a conference - the hall, is supplied with separate offices for scientific works which are equipped with the modern equipment for work with the digitized manuscripts.

More than 20 000 manuscripts cover flight of the Armenian ancient and medieval scientific thought almost in all areas: history, geography, grammar, philosophy, the right, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chronology, the literature on guessing translated and national literature, a miniature, music and theater.

Here manuscripts on Arab, Persian, Greek, Assyrian, Russian, Hebrew, Latin, Syrian, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese and other languages are stored. A set of manuscripts are lost in the original and remained only in translation in Armenian. Among them Evseviya Kesariysky`s “Chronicle“ translated in the 5th century; “Antioch assises“ - decisions of the supreme court of the Antioch principality founded by crusaders; treatise “About the Nature of Things“ of Zenon Stoik; “The book of work“ of Anatolius Bryutsky which is considered the first-ever book about agriculture.

Matenadaran continues to be replenished with new manuscripts: buys and receives as a present from philanthropists. Philanthropists are entered in lists of donators. They are informed on Matenadaran`s news, invited to celebrations, hand certificates and as the symbolical gift the copy of “The book of mournful chants“ of Grigor Narekatsi, is awarded with Mesrop Mashtots`s medal.

Here names of some philanthropists: Arutyun Gazaryan from New - York presented 397 manuscripts on Armenian and other languages, Raphael Markosyan from Paris - 37 manuscripts, Varuzhan Malatyan from Damascus - 150 manuscripts, Ruben Galchyan from London presented ancient cards. 95 - summer to Stitch Markosyan from Iran presented the copy of the manuscript of the Bible created by Mesrop Mashtots`s hand, this copy was made in 1069 in church Named.

On many pergament sheets of manuscripts there are traces of blood, fire and sword. The tests which fell to their lot and time left the mark and therefore need ripened, using modern technologies, to prolong them life. Since 2007 digitization of manuscripts began. The electronic version of the manuscript makes it available not only to a narrow circle of experts, now everyone can enjoy beauty of miniatures, skill of artists. The virtual book will contain the translation of the text, explanation and card.

Matenadaran is an institute, the museum and library with convenient studies, exhibition and reading rooms.